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Poster: Robin_1990 Date: Apr 22, 2008 12:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Speaking of screwed up copyright laws...

Thanks for the info. BTW, Does the 70 years count for other countries movies? Because It's impossible to find any movie made before the 50's on DVD at my local shopping center, Not even in the discount shops. Also, I am curious why not a single Australian movie (silent or talkie) has been released by the PD Budget DVD companies.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Apr 22, 2008 12:50am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Speaking of screwed up copyright laws...

Like most countries, any international movie that is PD in it's home country is PD in Australia. But some movies are PD in Australia before they are in their home country. For example all 14 Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films have been PD in Aus since 1996 even though only 4 of them are PD in USA.

Reasons why you can't find PD movies in Australia.

(1) PD market is being bought up by Rights organisations.
The PD DVD market in Australia is fading at the moment. The big studios are releasing superior versions of PD films at budget prices through supermarkets and department stores. Most of the big PD DVD labels (Payless, MRA, Rajon) have been bought up by a digital rights company, Destra, which has pushed their focus towards copyright material.

(2) Lack of distribution
The companies with the biggest PD archives like RBC entertainment and Hollywood House/Big Sky Video, and even my own The Video Cellar, don't have the distribution necessary to get into stores. So they sell online.

The PD market has dropped off a lot since DVD came to Australia. You used to be able to get anything PD on video in the 90s. When DVD came along, because of the high resolution compared to VHS, a lot of distributors pulled out of the market and discarded their masters.

(3) Cost of Rating DVDs.
The other problem is that it costs $540 per DVD to have a dvd release classified/rated. If the movie you want to release has never been clasified in the past you have to pay this or risk large fines. I have maybe 600+ movies that haven't been rated. I don't put them out because I can't cover the cost of having them rated. So I have to stick to movies that have been rated in the past. The only option is to limit the movies I offer or wait to someone else pays for the rating.

Reason why old Australian Movies aren't on DVD.

(1) The Archive.
The National Film and Sound Archive controls everything. The only PD source for old Australian movies are in most cases multi-generational VHS tapes that have sat on shelves in University librarys for years. They are not of a commercially releasable standard. "In the Wake of the Bounty", "Uncivilized", "Jedda" all PD but are controlled by the archive.

(2) Many Australian movies are actually British.
Chips Rafferty, Peter Finch, Dad and Dave movies are all British productions. Their copyrights, whether valid or not, are strictly enforced by the European rights companies like UGC/Lumiere/Pathe/Studio Canal (for British Lion/London Films), Granada (for Rank films) and 20th Century Fox London. A lot of these movies were out on VHS in the 90s. Very few "A Town Like Alice" (Magna), "Smiley" (20 C Fox) are on DVD.

Perth and Sydney are the best Australian cities if you collect old movies. They have a number of giant import DVD shops.

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Poster: Robin_1990 Date: Apr 22, 2008 2:37am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Speaking of screwed up copyright laws...

Thanks for the info. Australia is a terrible place for those who love movies and TV. Heck, The first 2 seasons of "I Love Lucy" are be PD here, But none of the companies have released them! ("I Love Lucy" deputed in 1951). BTW, There is a company in America called Alpha Video, Who have released over 1000 public domain movies on DVD. They have managed to get their DVDs in shops like Wal-Mart and other major stores. BTW, I hope you don't get offended, But I honestly think Australia in general is becoming boring, cloying and even annoying! That's why I'm planning to commit suicide.